Young people in North Lanarkshire, eligible to vote for the first time, have been denied direct access to Scotland’s First Minister in a bizarre move by Labour run North Lanarkshire Council.   In denying our young people the chance to attend the question and answer event the Labour party has moved beyond desperation to hysteria.   This was not a ‘rally’ as the ill-informed Cllr Frank McNally suggests but an event, hosted alongside youth organisation Young Scot, for young people to engage with the First Minister in a question and answer session. It is similar to other such events previously held.  A diverse group ofRead More →

I sit down to write this flag on International Women’s Day, celebrated throughout the world and by our Scottish Government, with the First Minister visiting her former School and Ayrshire College to meet girls and young women promoting ‘#thisayrshiregirlcan’.   Last week I was lucky enough to meet inspiring Scottish women at the 30th Birthday Celebration of the Scottish Refugee Council, held at Edinburgh Castle’s Great Hall with excellent contributions from Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners’ Rights, and a poetry reading from our retiring Makar, Liz Lochhead.   Liz beautifully spoke of her experience on a translation project A Bird is notRead More →

Council Tax Reform After maintaining the Council Tax freeze for eight years, the SNP Scottish Government has now announced reform of the tax to make it fairer and to release an additional  £100 million a year for schools. The Council Tax freeze has been fully funded, throughout, by the SNP Scottish Government with local authorities receiving £70 million year on year. The Scottish Parliament’s independent research department, SPICe, has found that this funding added up to more than Councils would have generated if they had increased the Council Tax every year in line with the Retail Price Index. The Council Tax freeze will continue untilRead More →

This week the Scottish Parliament had the opportunity to debate the UK Government’s Trade Union Bill for the first time.  This followed exceptional scrutiny of the Bill by the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee under the stewardship of Bruce Crawford MSP.  The Committee report included some startling conclusions. (  “We conclude that there is clear and widespread opposition to this legislation in Scotland. The Scottish Government do not believe that the UK Trade Union Bill will bring any benefit to the people of Scotland and instead, will have a negative impact on Scottish public authorities, trade unions and the delivery of public services in Scotland. ItRead More →

‘Schools for the Future Programme’ – funding for new schools On Monday 25th January, First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon announced that more than 6,500 pupils are set to benefit from the construction of 19 new schools across Scotland which will be completed by 2020. The SNP Scottish Government is investing £230 million pounds as part of the final phase of the ‘Schools for the Future’ programme. Total investment in the programme is £1.8 billion and the overall number of schools being delivered through it is 112. This is more than double the SNP Scottish Government’s original target of 55. Since 2007, the SNP Scottish Government hasRead More →

Clare Adamson MSP welcomes legislation which will help modernise the criminal justice system A new law setting out improvements to the criminal justice system has been passed by the Scottish Parliament. Speaking after the Stage 3 debate, Ms Adamson said: “I am delighted that the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill has been approved by the Scottish Parliament today. I believe the Bill strikes the right balance between strengthening the powers available to police and prosecutors while protecting the rights of the accused and it takes forward a wide range of proposals all designed to modernise and improve our current criminal justice system in Scotland”. A newRead More →

  Obituary, Councillor Lynn Adams It is always heart-breaking when a Member of the SNP passes before we have achieved our dream of Independence.  Hearts have been broken at the news that Cllr Lynn Adams from Hamilton died following a short battle against cancer.  Lynn had been a lynchpin of the Hamilton Pub scene for many years and recently the George Bar, run by Lynn and her lovely husband Colin, has been a second home to the SNP family in Hamilton.  We have had many a celebration, and a few (very few) commiserations in the warmth and welcome that are renowned at the George.  LynnRead More →

House of Lords Rejection of Tax Credits Sparks “Constitutional Crisis” Chancellor George Osborne says he will lessen the impact of tax credit cuts on families after the Conservative Party was defeated twice in the House of Lords where it currently does not have an outright majority.  Following the defeat on October 26th, Osborne has been forced to water down his flagship tax credit reforms after peers voted to delay the measure. Tax credits were introduced under the last Labour government in an effort to help low-paid families. The government set out to have the income threshold for receiving Working Tax Credits and Child Tax CreditRead More →

I had the pleasure of hosting an event for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accident, RoSPA, on their “Scotland’s Big Book of Accident Prevention” and am even more delighted to have written the forward for the book. My own interest in Accident prevention was sparked, sadly, by the death of my 15 year old niece in a road traffic accident. It prompted me, a non- professional in the area, to ensure that as an elected member I would try to raise awareness and progress Accident Prevention. It was then that my education began, from Chair of the Scottish Accident Prevention Council Home SafetyRead More →

The Refugee Crisis – Scotland’s response attracts U.N. praise Scotland has led the way in highlighting the inadequacy of the UK Government’s response to the refugee crisis and has established a multi-agency Refugee Operation Task Force comprising local government and other stakeholders who are working to ensure services across Scotland are ready to welcome refugees into our communities. Scotland has shown that it stands ready to take its immediate fair share of refugees from the current crisis with the majority of Scotland’s councils, faith groups, community organisations, schools and ordinary citizens offering to help. Scotland’s Minister for Europe, Humza Yousaf MSP, has welcomed the hugeRead More →